Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy
moving demos


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Maison de la paix, Maison de la paix, Geneva

International conference organised by the Geneva Graduate Institute’s Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy and Tech Hub, in cooperation with the Global Citizenship Observatory, European University Institute, with the support of the Swiss National Science Foundation.

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Democracy is a space in permanent flux, which is shaped by a variety of political, social, institutional, and technological factors. With this conference, we seek to understand in which ways the frontiers of the demos have been moving in recent years and which key elements have been driving past – and will presumably further drive future - transformations. We build on the analysis of three drivers of frontier changes either expanding or shrinking the demos: voting rights, youth participation, and digital technologies. We will investigate these expansionary and exclusionary dynamics within three types of frontiers of the demos: 1) legal frontiers; 2) intergenerational frontiers; and 3) virtual frontiers.

By identifying and analysing the most recent and innovative (youth-led) political participation practices (i.e., what we consider weak signals), we will also identify common elements and differences among innovations, whether they are led by youth, migrants, in the physical or digital realm. Technology is not only a new frontier; it is also a transversal theme throughout the conference that we use to explore the technological dimensions of innovations, especially when focusing on youth activism.

Ultimately, our goal is to identify and analyse “weak signals” on which future research and policy intervention may build, and what is needed to support those that can reinforce the resilience and attractiveness of the democratic model. Our main objective is to develop a common understanding and language across academic disciplines and identify research gaps in order to work together on a joint project application.


If you are interested in attending, please email democracy@graduateinstitute.ch.

See the full programme here